How to Care for your Vintage Ring July 14, 2013 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

Like everything in life, vintage rings need to be cared for if you want them to last. Although diamonds are the hardest material in the world, they can still get damaged. Here are the steps you need to take to take care of your vintage ring.

Ring Wellness Tips

There are many tips for keeping your ring safe, clean and in good condition. We’ve tried to consolidate the most important tips.

  • Keep your ring clean (See below)
  • Don’t bump or bang the ring
  • Don’t do excessive or heavy manual work while wearing the ring (See below)
  • Handle the ring with care (See below)
  • Purchase insurance for your ring (See below)
  • Bi-annual Jewelry Check-up (Ask a jeweler to examine the overall integrity of the ring at least twice a year)

Regular Cleaning

Jewelry being cleaned with steam machine in showroom

At least three times a year you should give your ring a solid cleaning. You can bring it to your jeweler and they will clean and steam it for you, or you can clean it by yourself. (If you purchased your vintage ring from Estate Diamond Jewelry, please feel free to contact us and we will clean your ring for free.)

To clean the ring yourself, you can soak it in a warm solution of mild liquid detergent and water. A dish-washing liquid is a great choice, but any other mild detergent should work fine. Use a soft brush and gently clean the ring. Blot the ring dry with a lint-free cloth.

If your ring has emeralds, pearls or any other softer stone, it is advisable to let only a professional jewelry clean your ring.

We have article post tutorials that should be helpful if you want to know how to clean your jewelry effectively. Click here for engagement ring cleaning, and here for earrings cleaning, and here for wedding band cleaning techniques.

Beware of Strong Chemicals

Cleaning Chemicals in Beakers

There are many chemicals lying around the house, such as hairspray and furniture polish, that can have the potential to cause lasting damage to your vintage engagement ring.

Chlorine, bleach, and silver polish are all good examples of chemicals that should go nowhere near your ring. It is advisable to put gloves on even if you are taking your rings off. The chemicals on your fingers can transfer back onto the ring.

It is important to note that chemicals can be even more disastrous to vintage jewelry because vintage metal will be a lot more delicate. Even simple soaps and detergents can tear away at the milgrain and prongs. If the ring is particularly dirty and needs powerful chemicals, bring the ring to a professional to clean.

Lifting and Manual Work

Women working in Mechanic Store

Although diamonds consist of the hardest substances known to man, they often have within them naturally occurring crystals. These crystals, when under pressure, will form chips or scratches in the diamond. It is vital that you take great care when lifting heavy objects or doing manual work.

The best advice we can give is to take off the ring while you are doing an activity that may damage the diamond or the setting. If you have any doubt about whether you should take your ring off, just take the ring off. It’s not worth damaging such an expensive and sentimental item over the few seconds that it takes to remove it.

We suggest taking your ring off for all sports and outdoor activities.

Click here to read our article about the times when you should take your ring off.

If you are planning on wearing your rings anyways, we strongly recommend wearing quality gloves. Gloves will add a level of protection to the ring and they will also catch any side diamonds if they fall out when bumped.

Handling with Care

Removing ring from finger

This warning isn’t just about vintage jewelry. All jewelry should be handled with care.

You should always pick up your vintage diamond engagement ring (or any gemstone ring) by its band, and not by the stone or setting. Not only will this prevent natural oils from your hands building up around the stone’s setting, but it will help to keep the diamond secure.

When passing the ring to someone else, pass it slowly. YouTube is filled with people accidentally dropping rings into horrible locations. Most of the videos end terribly.

Don’t let go of your ring until you are certain that the receiving party has a firm grip on your jewelry.

Purchasing Insurance for your Ring

Signing contract for jewelry insurance

Most people figure that because the ring is on the finger all the time, it won’t get lost or damaged. Unfortunately, that is not true. Rings get lost all the time.

Make sure that your ring is insured. Usually, you can include your ring within the coverage of your rental or house insurance. Ask them about it. If your ring cannot be covered under any of your existing policies, you can always take out a separate policy for your ring.

Click here to read our definitive guide on engagement ring insurance. This article should give you all the information that you’ll need to know before purchasing insurance.

If I was to summarize the article, however, I would say that there is one definite conclusion. Make sure that you get insurance. Which insurance you pick will depend on your needs, but insurance itself is a very important necessity.

Do you have any other tips on how to take care for your vintage ring? Feel free to leave it in the comments below.